PKBatth's Travel Journals

PKBatth PK Batth

 
What was the saddest moment you have ever seen in your travels?

My group was volunteering at a school, where we set up a clinic to see the locals and do some basic health tests. Some of the children that lived nearby came to show us some fun games and talk to us about a day in the life of a typical Belizean child. At one point I asked a small group of these children, maybe three or four of them were standing before me, what they wanted to do when they got older. Every single one of them looked down at their feet and didn't answer. It took some time for me to figure out why, but I soon realized that most children there are not raised to believe they can do anything they want to do with their lives. 1 out of 3 of them will live in absolute poverty, and given the area we were in, that statistic may be even higher.

  • From Windsor, Canada
  • Currently in San Ignacio, Belize

Belize 2011 - Mission Accepted

Reuniting with Belize, my long lost love! This trip is more than a getaway, as I have some serious goals I hope to achieve during my time in beautiful Belize.

Hand Delivered Letters to Some Important People

Belize Belmopan, Belize  |  Aug 05, 2011
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 On a great big piece of wood was written "The Office of the Prime Minister." The sign intimidated me. I asked a security officer standing on the other side of the floor if I could go in, he chuckled and said yes, of course. 

Dear Journal,

     Friday, August 5th, was a day of fulfilling a lot of my set goals. The day was smoldering but I was not going to let the heat get the best of me! I started the day off making my way towards the clinic and help setting up the various stations we use to run our awareness project. Soon after we got through the initial wave of people waiting for our clinic to begin, I headed to the storage area in the ProWorld office. There I organized a bag of mine with the donations I had for the women's center. An hour before lunch I headed over to the center.      

      My friend that I had met over a year ago, Adrian, works at the center. Not only was it so great to see an old friend but also connect with someone making humanitarian efforts for the sake of Belizean women and children. Mary's Open Doors is one of two shelters in the entire country and is very busy with their various projects and helping women fleeing abusive relationships. Some of these women leave with nothing, so I brought with me basic goods, like shampoo, feminine products and toothbrushes, for these women and their children to take advantage of. It may not be the largest gesture, but I believe every little bit helps. Adrian and I talked about the importance of giving back to communities that mean so much to us. We connected in our genuine passion of working for the greater good. I often get restless with feeling like I can do more and want to do as much as possible, but he helped me to actually see what I am trying to do is good and making lasting change is all about baby steps. He made me appreciate what I have done and encouraged me to keep going. He told me he sees a good soul in me. It is always a great thing to hear someone see in you who you want to be. I really needed to hear such words. After seeing so many changes I wish I can make over my various trips to Belize, I felt a little overwhelmed, but hearing those words helped me regain my hope in the future. If you are reading this, thanks Adrian!   

      After conversing with Adrian, I headed back to the clinic. I returned to take some more blood pressure and talk about how to prevent diabetes with the few patients that came in. Friday was fairly slow compared to our other days. A little before lunch I headed off to the capital, Belmopan, with my sister, Nafeesa. I had three letters to deliver: one to the Minister of Education, one to the Minister of Health and lastly, one to the Prime Minister, Dean Barrows. It was a long and hot ride to the capital but I was determined not to let the conditions get my spirits down.

(Here is the link to the letter: http://myproworld.goabroad.net/article.php?action=view&articleID=839 )

      Once arriving in the capital we walked towards the government buildings. Nafeesa was yanking me forward saying I was walking too slow and people behind me were getting upset. Being told to move faster in Belize was the strangest experience for me! Luckily the buildings were extremely close, because the heat was no joke. I was melting by the second.     

      I first entered the Ministry of Education building. It was designed with simple and clean inspirations. I walked up to a glass window and kindly asked the man behind the window if he could deliver my letter to the Minister for me. He was more than happy to do so, which made my heart smile. Then I headed to the Ministry of Health. This building was not easy to find! There was an entire floor dedicated to health offices, from Public Health to Nutrition. I wanted to talk to each and every department head, but I didn't have the time. Eventually after walking up and down the hallway, I found his office. His secretary was there and greeted me with a great big smile. She was glad to help me deliver my letter. She even let me know he wasn't there at the moment but when he gets back, she will be sure to give it to him. It meant a lot to me that she appreciated how much getting that letter to him meant to me. Then we headed to the Prime Minister's office.      

      On a great big piece of wood was written "The Office of the Prime Minister." The sign intimidated me. I asked a security officer standing on the other side of the floor if I could go in, he chuckled and said yes, of course. This sort of access was so strange to me, but I was glad to have it. I walked in and the first thing I felt was the beautiful presence of Air Conditioning! Ahhhh so sweet! To my right was a tinted window with a small circle in it for me to talk through. Behind it were three people working. I went up to the window and asked if they could deliver my letter to Hon. Dean Barrows for me. Although they weren't as kind as the others, they took it and assured me it would get to him. The moment was nice, and something I have been working towards for sometime now. I was glad I made the trip and hand delivered them.      

      To reward our efforts, I bought Nafeesa and I some cold drinks. The slush I drank never tasted better. The ride back wasn't as bad, because we jumped on the express bus, even though we were one dollar short of affording it. I just sweet-talked the money collector a little bit to get my way. No shame! Once I arrived home, the heat exhaustion hit me. I was unable to really move past taking a shower and sitting on the couch. It didn't matter though, my experience was worth the excess tiredness!

Your heat may try to beat me, Belize, but I just love you too much to let that happen.

Best,

PK

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